Currently reading: The car industry now: can Vauxhall survive as a brand?
French ownership and post-Brexit uncertainty had already shaken the British firm, but the pandemic could create an even bigger crisis
Autocar
News
2 mins read
1 June 2020

In many ways, Vauxhall is in a stronger position now than it has been for years. Since the PSA Group purchased it and sibling brand Opel from General Motors, it has returned to profit and begun the roll-out of a wave of new models, such as the Corsa and Mokka, built on PSA platforms.

The scale of the PSA Group should help its brands withstand lost sales and profits from the crisis. Last year, Vauxhall launched a campaign to reinforce its British heritage, which was showing decent results pre-lockdown – and could pay dividends as customers look for brands they trust post-pandemic. Vauxhall boss Stephen Norman recently told Autocar that he expects consumers to move towards more value-led brands such as his.

Will Ellesmere Port stay open?

The future of Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port factory relies solely on the UK achieving a free trade deal with the EU, according to PSA Group boss Carlos Tavares, who is renowned for tough cost-cutting but also, crucially, turning brands around. So much so that Vauxhall was back in profit by July 2018, for the first time in 19 years and just six months after being bought by the French firm.

Tavares recently said he remains “eager to invest” in the Cheshire factory that builds the Astra should a suitable business case be made for it off the back of UK-EU trade deal talks.

However, should tariffs be imposed on cars or car parts, Tavares has said the UK government would have to invest, adding that it “wouldn’t be ethical” for PSA employees at profitable factories elsewhere in the world to be paying for Ellesmere Port’s deficits just to keep it running. Wells says: “Within Europe, it’s in a very weak position. It doesn’t have the right product or future focus.”

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13

1 June 2020

 All you ready in these articles is the negativity of the writer, there's no looking on the bright side, being positive, not just giving up, waiting for the inevitable.

1 June 2020

Nowadays everyone seems obsessed with German luxury brands. Vauxhall always used to be number 2 behind Ford in the UK. Now even VW are outselling Ford & Vauxhall have been relegated to 4th or 5th by BMW & Mercedes. GM got out of Europe by selling Opel/Vauxhall to the French. Now Ford has said it will co-operate with VW in Europe. You bet the next stage will be Ford also getting out of Europe because just like GM they saw that future European automotive legistration would squeeze profits.

1 June 2020

Going by all the negative and anti-Vauxhall comments that seem natural to 99% on here, I'm sure there are a lot of people that wouldn't give a monkees if Vauxhall / Opel went under.

Having owned many new and secondhand Vauxhall's in the family for the best part of 45 years, I really don't understand the hatred for the brand.  Sure people will see me as boring, stupid and 'why the f*ck do you own and drive an Astra when there are (allegedly) better cars out there', I just don't get it.

I suppose the car world has turned into badge one-upmanship and if its not a 'premuim' brand or a VAG car, you don't get any 'respect'.

1 June 2020
JontyB wrote:

Going by all the negative and anti-Vauxhall comments that seem natural to 99% on here, I'm sure there are a lot of people that wouldn't give a monkees if Vauxhall / Opel went under.

Having owned many new and secondhand Vauxhall's in the family for the best part of 45 years, I really don't understand the hatred for the brand.  Sure people will see me as boring, stupid and 'why the f*ck do you own and drive an Astra when there are (allegedly) better cars out there', I just don't get it.

I suppose the car world has turned into badge one-upmanship and if its not a 'premuim' brand or a VAG car, you don't get any 'respect'.

German engineered Opels, or "Vauxhalls" as theyre known in the UK, generally dont drive very well and havent for decades, which is why so many people on here post "negative, anti-Vauxhall comments". Nothing to do with being premium and everything to do with not particularly good products. However, now that PSA has taken over, the future is bright, not just because in the 2 years theyve owned Opel/Vauxhall theyve actually managed to make a profit - something inept GM hadnt managed for over 20 years - but also because PSA is capable of making decent cars, something Opel/Vauxhal hasnt been able to do for at least 30 years, probably longer.

1 June 2020
JontyB wrote:

I suppose the car world has turned into badge one-upmanship and if its not a 'premuim' brand or a VAG car, you don't get any 'respect'.

VW has several iconic models - Beetle, Transporter, Golf. Vauxhall/Opel, despite their long history, hasn't. It's not a question of 'premium', but of the brand's position in public consciousness.

1 June 2020

What a stupid question - of course it can survive as a brand - its the cheapest option, few people in the UK know about Opel so changing the name to Opel will cost lots of cash and moulding a few Vauxhall badges is all it costs currently. Whether Elesmere Port stays open or not is a whole different question and is mostly down to the nut case Brexiteers we have attempting to "run" the country and the Brexit deal theyre trying, badly, to negotiate - the deluded, arrogant, superiority complex suffering, tw*ts still want their cake and to eat it, so its not going well and the plant may well not survive in the end.

1 June 2020
typos1 wrote:

Whether Elesmere Port stays open or not is a whole different question and is mostly down to the nut case Brexiteers we have attempting to "run" the country and the Brexit deal theyre trying, badly, to negotiate - the deluded, arrogant, superiority complex suffering, tw*ts still want their cake and to eat it, so its not going well and the plant may well not survive in the end.

Ah ha ha ha ha....   Oh where do I start on that one. Fat lot of good being part of the EU did for those Spanish building Renaults. Fat lot of good being in the EU did for the workers at Linwood. Fat lot of good being in the EU did for Ford who no longer build cars in UK. Fat lot of good being in EU did for workers at Swindon, for it was the the same EU who negotiated a trade deal that moved Honda production back to Japan ! 

What the **** has Brexit got to do with it? there's been a cloud over Vauxhall since I was a kid, and that's before we even joined the EU !

And you call others deluded?  In case you don't realise it, the future of Ellesmere port lies in the hands of PSA owners, that the same mob who ran the Peugeot factory in Coventry. They pulled out of Ryton in 2006 when, wait for it, we were well and truely a memeber of the EU.

And of course the sting in the tail for your comment being other French owners Renault are rumoured to be moving production from Barcelona to Brexiting Britain !!!!!

The problem with remoaners like you is you can't face facts, rather you live in some magical dream world where you simply re-write history to suit your own agenda. Best go back to sleep and stop posting fake news drivel.

2 June 2020

Couldn't have put it better! As an outsider, I'd expect my opinions to be disregarded, but I'd just like to mention that Australia trades with the rest of the world on WTO terms and we are "The Lucky Country"!

Now, to be controversial, I'd venture my real opinion, which is that the very last thing you need from the EU is "a deal" Go WTO and be a genuinely free country. In which it will pay to manufacture your own cars (I know, we don't here any more but that's a whole other story)

Robbo

A View from Down Under

1 June 2020

An excellent video from "Big Car" on YouTube informs me Vauxhall hasn't been British since 1920 so that ad campaign was most amusing.  I know a few Vauxhall fans and the consensus is that they have no intention of buying re-badged PSA cars.

1 June 2020

Surely the biggest problem for Ellesmere Port, even more than Brexit, is that people aren't buying the Astra. It's exposed building a model in a shrinking sector, and where people are able to lease "premium" German rivals for the same price

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